What Happens in Vegas (2008)
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Review Date: June 04, 2008
Director: Tom Vaughan
Writer: Dana Fox
Producers: Shawn Levy, Dean Georgaris, Michael Aguilar
Cameron Diaz as Joy
Ashton Kutcher as Jack
Rob Corddy as Hater
A dude who just got fired (by his own dad!) and a hot chick who just got dumped by her fiancé (as she was throwing him a surprise birthday party!) decide to drown their sorrows in alcohol and Las Vegas. After a night of drunken debauchery (aka “the good old days” to me), the duo end up married and the winners of a $3 million jackpot. Realizing that they now hate each others’ guts, the twosome have to find a way to live together for six months, or risk losing all that money…according to a judge. Just go with it.
I wasn’t really expecting all that much from this film, especially considering that its trailers made it look like just another stupid romantic comedy starring a couple of hotties with comedic chops, but the film’s first 20 minutes or so actually gave me hope that I might be taking part in a pretty fun, original and entertaining hour and a half of humor cinema. But I was wrong. Once the “Vegas” part of the movie ended and the “happy couple” returned to New York in order to fulfill the cinematic plot twist created by the film’s intro, the entire production turned into a TV sitcom with pratfalls, goofy expressions, misunderstandings and over-the-top revenge plots making up the rest of the film. And unlike THE BREAK-UP, none of it felt natural or realistic. Even though I’ve never seen his TV show, it felt like Jim Belushi was gonna show up any minute and fart or something. The passion, quick pace and energy of the film’s start was gone and replaced by inane circumstances in which the two feuding leads express their discontent via “movie” stupidities like Ashton Kutcher grabbing his nutsack with his hand and then placing that same hand into the popcorn bowl from which Cameron Diaz was eating. Let me know when you stop laughing. And yes, there’s even an entire sequence about “leaving the toilet seat up”. Wow…where did the screenwriter come up with that one??? Revolutionary!

The thing is, I don’t even mind that kind of silliness from time to time, but at least have the script make some sense! At a point, both leads want the other to cheat on them, so they invite two dozen hot people to their little apartment in order to tempt the other. While the other one is still in the apartment. Make any sense to you? Me neither. Queen Latifah is also given a horribly glorified cameo role as the couple’s shrink, and she could not have been any less useful or humorous in the part. Denis Miller did okay as the over-the-top judge, but it was the two supporting friends, Rob Corddry and (Amanda Peet look-a-like) Lake Bell, that really stole many of the film’s scenes, leading me to wonder what the movie might’ve been like had they concentrated on those two funnier characters, rather than the bland, over-the-top leading duet. And by the way, is it me or did Cameron Diaz not look too great in this movie? (other than that underwear shot, of course) The film is also as predictable as my stool movements every morning, with the two leads despising each other throughout the entire movie, but eventually…well, I won’t “ruin” it for you.

It also features some of the worst dialogue that I’ve heard in any film in some time, with a “serious” conversation between Kutcher and Diaz running along these lines: Kutcher: I stopped betting on life, because I didn’t want to lose anymore, Diaz: I’ll bet on you! Do you see the gambling references interlaced into their love-talk, kids? That’s called Screenwriting 101 and is pure dogshit! Who the fuck talks like that?!? The chemistry between the two was also non-existent, although as mentioned above, Corddy and Bell generated some nice sparks! I wouldn’t recommend this film to many people, but if you are interested in the topic of marriage and the two leads, you can check out Kutcher in a somewhat funnier rom-com entitled JUST MARRIED (what ever happened to Brittany Murphy, by the way?) and Diaz in the highly underrated black comedy VERY BAD THINGS. Kudos for the final flashback scene of the film’s wedding though. I only wish they’d have spent more time drunk and in Vegas in the whole movie. Alas…
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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